Finding a Direction Amidst Chaos

Right: Polar bear on snow sketch. Left: Bear anatomy

It has been a while, I know. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride getting myself moved up to Washington State from the Oregon coast. I would love to say I am settling in but, I am afraid I will be moving again in two months or so. Of course, things might work out differently. I really have no idea. I am working on it!

I am learning to ride the waves of change. Perhaps this is part of what this time in my life is for. I have a lot to be grateful for. My health is good, I have a roof over my head for now, and, while I don’t know where I am going to end up, I do know where I want to go! That is plenty. I miss hugs and physical contact. I also miss being able to go to gatherings for cultural events. I feel like I have missed out on fully experiencing the recent places I have lived due to not being able to attend community and cultural events. This is just what it is in these times of the pandemic.

I am grateful that I currently live in yet another beautiful place. I can take comfort and joy in the beauty of nature. So, yes, I have a lot to be grateful for.

As the winter weather settles in, I have been turning toward getting my skills back in shape and continuing to build skills. I decided I want to be able to capture the essence of any animal from life. I also want to be able to draw any animal from imagination. That is a tall order and will take a lot of skill building and study. I will have to go beyond just regaining skills that are rusty from disuse while I have been moving around. Expect to see a lot of anatomy studies and sketches in the coming months!

It is challenging to get to a zoo these days due to pandemic restrictions. Not impossible but, I won’t be able to get there as often as I would like. I am resorting to the wonderful webcam feeds from Explore.org. I have mentioned this site many times in the past. I can let the feed run to draw gesture studies and build up memory. I can also pause the feed to sketch a pose.

Polar bear on snow, digging for edibles.

I utilized the polar bear webcam feeds on Explore.org to work on a drawing process with the polar bear sketch in the two photos on this post. It is a bit messy as I layered action pose, shapes, anatomy, and a bit of shading on top of one another. The lighting with a white bear on white snow on an overcast afternoon in the arctic is pretty tricky too. It was the process and practice that counted here, not the finished sketch. This is practice. However, I am thinking in future practice sessions I will separate the processes. It will add to the repetition of the skills I am learning and be easier to see the different stages and the finished sketch.

For those who have asked me when I will be selling finished work, thank you! The answer is soon. I will be painting as well but, I will also be adding colored pencil to my mediums. That is another blog post…

Stay safe all!

Yours in Truth and Beauty,

-Renee

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